From the First Sunday of Lent blog:
“It is always so comforting to know that even if our best laid plans go awry, God honors our intentional focus on Him. As you move through the next 40 days as a family, how will you intentionally prepare for Resurrection Sunday? What will be the family devotion success stories and the failures? How will God meet each member of your family with a small shift in focus here, small changes in perspective there, and all of the laughter in between?
Pastor Mike has asked Vista to press in during this season: press into new habits, press into new perspectives, press into intentional devotion. “We hope to help you, encourage you, and laugh with you as every member of the family presses into that intentional devotion together.”
So how did it go? Was your intentional Lent focus everything your family hoped it would be? How did your efforts to develop new habits and new perspectives help you press in for 40 days? Did the Holy Spirit reveal God in a new way to your family?
Our family had some successes and some failures. We made it through about 20 Lent devotionals together and engaged in some good discussions. We attempted to fast from screen time for a couple weeks with various levels of success. We talked about some service opportunities but never really executed them. I am still hoping our “Alleluia Eggs” will be in the same places we hid them come Sunday morning. We have a seder feast planned for Thursday night with friends. We plan on attending the Dublin Crosswalk on Friday. We will serve together on Resurrection Sunday morning, and celebrate the empty tomb with “Resurrection biscuits“. All in all, our intentions have reaped some good results that we hope will continue.
As we have shared from the beginning, God honors our intentional focus on Him. Pastor Mike has been pushing us to look for the work of the Holy Spirit around us this Lenten season. Francis Chan encourages us in this manner:
“Even as the Spirit works in us to make us more like Christ, to transform us, His is also patient. This work will not be complete until His Kingdom comes in full, though this does not deter Him from working now.” p. 146 Forgotten God
We have tried not to focus on the success of the Lent journey, but on the small victories of obedience along the way. We made goals and asked the Holy Spirit to cover the rest. We are praying that He will continue to guide us forward for our family’s “common good.” We will read Ephesians 1 & 2 this week to celebrate why we intentionally engage in this life and what we can expect from God for our intentions. We are not called to be perfect or perform perfectly, yet we are able to offer what we can through His Spirit.
My prayer for you is that you celebrate Sunday as a family in the common good brought by the Spirit. Paul in Ephesians portrays the peace, rest and assurance we can have because we have the Spirit of the risen Lord in us.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spiritf of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:14-23
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